Women's Basketball Sends International Duo To Tokyo
SALT LAKE CITY – The University of Utah Women's Basketball program will be well-represented in Tokyo after former Utes Kim Gaucher (Canada) and Leilani Mitchell (Australia) were chosen to wear their country's colors in the 2020 Olympics this summer.
Team Canada qualified for Tokyo 2020 after going undefeated at the FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Ostend, Belgium in February. Kim Gaucher will be making her third appearance after representing Canada at London 2012 and at Rio 2016.
"There is nothing greater than having the opportunity to pull on the red and white jersey with Canada across your chest," Goucher said when speaking to the Canadian media after the announcement. "I am so proud of the players and staff who have worked incredibly hard to earn this moment. Our goal is to inspire the next generation of great young players in our country and of course, chase the podium in Tokyo."
Goucher played at Utah from 2002-06, earning All-America honors in each of her four seasons with the Utes. She became the first female student-athlete to have her jersey retired in the Jon M. Huntsman Center after becoming one of just two Utes to be named conference player of the year four times.
She was a first-round selection in the 2006 WNBA Draft, going to the Sacramento Monarchs with the 13th pick overall, also having a successful career overseas. She was Team Canada's leading scorer at the 2012 Summer Olympics, also averaging 7.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in 2016 in Rio for another quarterfinal appearance.
Mitchell, who played for Utah in 2007-08, will be making her second Olympics appearance after representing Australia in Rio in 2016. She will be a part of a 12-woman team with the Opal's Olympic record including three silver and two bronze medal finishes between 1996 and 2012.
Mitchell earned All-America honors and Mountain West Conference Player of the Year in 2007-08 for the Utes, also finishing as one of three finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award, presented to the top point guard in Division I women's basketball. She ranked fourth nationally in assists and eighth in assist/turnover ratio that season, leading the Utes to a regular season conference title and an NCAA Tournament berth.
She is currently in her 13th season with the WNBA after being drafted in the second round in 2008. She has earned the WNBA Most Improved Player award twice in her career (2010, 2019), playing in over 380 career games in the WNBA while ranking in the top-25 all-time in career assists.
The 2020 Summer Olympics will begin Friday, July 23 and run through Sunday, Aug. 8. Team Canada will tip off in Group A against Serbia on Monday, July 26 while Australia will take on Belgium in Group C on Tuesday, July 27.
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For more information on the Tokyo Olympics, click here. Fans can also follow along with updated available on social media (Twitter: @UtahWBB | Instagram: @UtahWBB) and on UtahUtes.com.